Shalya Parva 1 -The final day under Shalya
On the seventeenth day of the Great War, Kripa spoke to Duryodhana. He told him it was impossible to defeat Arjuna, and Bheema was bent on accomplishing his vow. He asked Duryodhana to protect himself by choosing peace and stopping hostilities. Duryodhana replied that Kripa’s words were like medicine for a dying man. He told him he would prefer to die on the battlefield.
Duryodhana then consulted Ashwatthama on whom to appoint as the commander. Ashwatthama recommended Shalya since he was brave and had all qualities needed of a commander. Duryodhana then appealed to Shalya to save them. The King of Madra then said he would kill the Pandavas or die in the battle.
The two sides then assembled on the battlefield, and the battle started. Arjuna and Bheema slaughtered the Kaurava armies. Nakula fought against Chitrasena and when his bow was destroyed, he used a sword and beheaded Chitrasena.
Shalya fought fiercely against the Pandava soldiers and killed them. Yudhishtira then confronted him. All the Kaurava warriors came to Shalya’s defence while the Pandavas came to their king’s defence. Bheema flung his huge mace and killed the horses in Shalya’s chariot. He then grabbed a lance that Shalya hurled and used it to kill Shalya’s charioteer.
Both the great warriors then clashed using their huge clubs. The earth shook as the two heroes fought like wild elephants. Both of them fell weakened by their assaults on each other. Duryodhana fought with Chekitana and killed him.
Shalya then attacked Yudhishtira, showering him with arrows. Yudhishtira then killed Shalya’s chariot protectors and brought down his standard. An angry Shalya retaliated fiercely. Even as Satyaki and Bheema joined in the attack, Shalya repelled them with a fiery shower of arrows.
Arjuna fought with Ashwatthama and destroyed his chariot. Duryodhana fought with Dhrishtadyumna. Shalya’s attack on the Pandavas was so terrible that Pandava soldiers fled in fear. Yudhishtira then attacked Shalya. It was an unprecedented battle as Yudhishtira repeatedly struck Shalya and the Kauravas who guarded him.
Shalya and Kripa then killed Yudhishtira’s horses and charioteer. Bheema then killed Shalya’s charioteer and horses. Shalya then rushed on foot towards Yudhishtira. Picking up a javelin, Yudhishtira hurled it at Shalya. The javelin blazed through the air and tore into Shalya’s chest. The commander of the Kaurava forces was dead.
Yudhishtira then killed the younger brother of Shalya with an arrow. Satyaki then fought with Kritavarma and destroyed his chariot. The angry soldiers of Shalya then charged towards Yudhishtira but were slaughtered.
Bheema slaughtered what was left of the Kaurava army, killing twenty-one thousand soldiers. Duryodhana motivated his soldiers to fight on, saying they could anyway not escape the Pandavas, so it was better to try to end the war by killing them.
Shalva seated on his elephant, attacked the Pandavas fiercely. Dhristadyumna used his club to kill the elephant, while Satyaki used a sharp arrow to slay Shalva. Shakuni rallied the Kaurava troops along with his own army and fought bravely.
…. to be continued